After going down three games to one on Thursday night, the Chicago Blackhawks took the ice on Saturday night with their backs against the wall, trying to avoid elimination. Returning home to the Madhouse had the Hawks playing intense as ever as they tried to force a Game Six. If any one though the Hawks were down and out, think again.
From the start of the anthem, the United Center was rocking as the fans tried to unite their top seeded Hawks and it sure helped ignite the team. The Hawks came out hitting hard and often. They finished the first period with 11 hits on the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit got the first quality chance on Viktor Stalberg but Corey Crawford made a great pad save to keep the game scoreless.
The kill got some momentum on the Hawks side and they took advantage of it. After Jimmy Howard made a save on Patrick Kane, Bryan Bickell was able to connect on the rebound to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead. It was the first lead for the Hawks since they surrendered the lead in period two of Game Two.
The intensity remained at a high level in period two but the Red Wings were able to tie the game after Dan Clearly beat Crawford on a rebound. But the Hawks responded quickly. After being terrible on the power play all series, the Hawks finally scored a power play goal on a redirect by Andrew Shaw. The goal was a big momentum boost for the Hawks. And then just minutes later on another power play, Jonathan Toews banked a goal in off of Howard’s mask. It was the first goal of the playoffs for the Hawks captain.
Entering the third period with a two goal lead, the Hawks were able to shut down any possible attempt of a comeback for Detroit. Shaw added another goal for his second of the night. Hawks win 4-1.
The victory gives the Hawks a big confidence boost and some momentum. Although Game Six in Detroit, the pressure will shift to the Wings to close out the series at home. One of the best signs for the Hawks is that their leader finally scored a goal and appeared to be back on his game Saturday Night.
Game Six is on Monday Night at 7P.M. The Hawks have a lot of work to do but this series is far from over.